Woman, 42, admits causing death of former headteacher, 64, after crashing head-on into her car while driving wrong way down motorway slip road
- Ann Marie Crook, 42, hit 64-year-old Paula Kingdon’s car on the M57 near Kirkby
- Both women were taken to hospital, where Ms Kingdon died a short time later
- Ex-headteacher described as ‘open-hearted’, ‘funny’ and a ‘proud Liverpudlian’
- Crook appeared in dock today and admitted causing death by dangerous driving
Ann Marie Crook (pictured), 42, appeared at Liverpool Crown Court this morning and admitted causing death by dangerous driving
A woman has admitted causing the death of a former headteacher after crashing head-on into her car while driving the wrong way down a motorway slip road.
Ann Marie Crook, 42, was driving a black Renault Clio which hit 64-year-old Paula Kingdon’s Honda Jazz on the M57 near Kirkby, Merseyside, in October 2019.
She also drove dangerously on the East Lancashire Road in the build-up to the fatal crash, Liverpool Crown Court heard.
The motorway was closed between junctions four and six before two air ambulances took both women to hospital, where Ms Kingdon died a short time later.
Crook was left fighting for her life in hospital in a critical condition, said Merseyside Police in a statement following the incident.
Crook, of St Helens, appeared in the dock this morning and admitted causing death by dangerous driving.
She was supported by family sitting in the public gallery, while members of Ms Kingdon’s family were sitting in the area normally reserved for the jury.
Sarah Griffin, defending, requested a pre-sentence report on behalf of her client, which was granted by Judge Garrett Byrne.
Judge Byrne adjourned Crook’s sentencing until September 16 and remanded her on unconditional bail until that date. Crook cried as she left the dock.
Paula Kingdon (pictured above), 64, was driving her Honda Jazz which was hit on the M57 near Kirkby, Merseyside, in 2019. She was taken to hospital, where she died a short time later
Ms Kingdon was the headteacher of Westfield Infants School, near Chesterfield in Derbyshire.
She was described as ‘open-hearted’ and ‘funny’, as well as a ‘proud Liverpudlian’.
Philip Childs, a close friend who launched a JustGiving Page which crowdfunded over £2,000 for a memorial, paid tribute to Ms Kingdon.
He said: ‘Paula was practically one of our family.
‘But her influence, respect and love spread far and wide, not just in our circle of friends but through the hundreds and hundreds of children, and later, their children, who she inspired during 40 years, 20 as headteacher, at Westfield Infants School.’
Speaking in 2019, he told the Derbyshire Times: ‘Her death was a great shock and a great loss.
Judge Byrne adjourned Crook’s sentencing until September 16 and remanded her on unconditional bail until that date (file photo of Liverpool Crown Court)
‘She was the kindest person you could meet, the most open-hearted, funny, with a great sense of humour.
‘She had time for everyone, she couldn’t do enough for anyone. She was a wonderful person.
‘I still expect her to come through our door to visit us.’
He said Paula was returning to her adopted home city of Sheffield, having been to Merseyside to see her stepdad and Liverpool FC play, when the crash happened.
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